Why am I mentioning this, as I'm a missionary writing about events in Paraguay?
Because it affects me. Yesterday, while eating with some dear friends at their home in the capital, we were introduced to their new daughter-in-law. She's smart, beautiful, in her mid-twenties and she couldn't look us in the eyes because they were glued to her smartphone. I couldn't believe how addicted she was to hearing the "beep" of a new text message. She couldn't even carry on a conversation, because her dialogue was with a little piece of plastic and a mystery person on the other end.
On our way home we were talking about how this attractive young lady didn't have the social graces to turn off her phone during the meal and be present in conversation with some out-of-town guests. Even in a developing world country like Paraguay I'm starting to get worried that machines are going to replace relationships in the younger generations. That's what I've loved about Paraguay...no drive through banking, no automatic grocery check outs, I still
Also, when we took our brother-in-law out for his birthday this week, there were some famous soccer players eating dinner with their families and the daughters (maybe 5-7 years old) had Ipads at the table. It was an obvious plan of the parents to use the technology as a babysitter during their meal so they could talk adult lingo, since the young girls were at one end and the parents at the other.
Experts are beginning to use a term called "Tech isolation." It's a phenomenon caused by technical saturation and it's flooding college campuses. The article says, "A college square used to be a social Mecca buzzing with activity and conversation. Today, students listen to iPods or have their noses buried in laptops, a kind of self-imposed solitary confinement not unlike cubicle work life."
Don't get me wrong, the IPad has a lot of benefits. An IPad will keep your kids out of our hair for hours on end, and you'll make sure they look "cool" among their friends. Call me an un-cool mom. You'll find me playing an old-fashioned game of chutes-n-ladders with my son, and just digging in the sand with my daughter.
What do you think? Why would or wouldn't you buy your child an IPad?